Currently, BFH has 33 sites in the regions of Bern, Biel and Burgdorf. Responsibility for the various sites lies with the respective heads of department. They are supported by the BFH's real estate management. However, as some locations are rented and managed by external parties, the possible influence on their energy requirements, barrier-free access or other structural measures is often limited. For example, in 2021, the protection of historical monuments that had to be considered prevented larger-scale project ideas such as a permaculture garden at the BFH-W site.
Initial steps have already been taken in individual departments to promote biodiversity and the use of environmental areas for experienced sustainability. BFH-HAFL, for example, is setting a good example by carrying out a biodiversity analysis as part of its extension project and setting up an HAFL Ecological Environmental Design Working Group. As a result, a comprehensive ecological environmental design was implemented in the department according to the most modern principles. Among other things, species-rich extensive meadows were sown, hedges planted, branch and stone piles installed, dry stone walls built, a wild bee paradise and a garden with edible wild plants created. In addition, a permaculture area and a forest garden have already been established since 2017, which also promote biodiversity and make it tangible for university staff and visitors alike.
At the BFH-AHB site, a number of biodiversity-promoting small structures have been created since 2019 with the help of volunteers and the support of facility management (e.g. insect gardens, clearance cairns or piles of twigs and branches) and the management of the green spaces has been slightly adapted (meadow areas with tall grass and wildflowers). In addition, the effects of these biodiversity-promoting measures will be documented in the future.
Smaller projects to make sustainability more tangible and liveable at the individual locations exist at all larger BFH locations. For example, several canteens consistently offer vegetarian menus or provide reusable dishes. There are also different variants of waste concepts and recyclable coffee pods are offered.
In the everyday life of students and staff, various offers encourage them to live sustainability and to take a first step towards sustainable commitment themselves. For example, BFH-W and -HAFL as well as the Services offer subscriptions for the Publibike bike rental system. In addition, a clothing swap and a book exchange were organised at BFH-W in the year under review. At BFH-AHB, the AHB-Awards are presented on the annual AHB Sustainability Day. BFH also communicates actively about many sustainability projects and activities via its website, on social media or at events.
Efforts in the area of sustainable development at its own locations can be lived even more actively and experienced accordingly. Better coordination between the various activities, the possibility of exchanging experiences and using synergies would create great added value. A first step towards a participatory design of the BFH locations is to take place in 2022 within the framework of a university-wide call for proposals. Students and employees are to be invited to submit ideas on how the BFH campuses can be made more sustainable. The best ideas will then be selected and implemented.